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PROGRESS WRESTLING: CHAPTER 55 “CHASE THE SUN”
SEPTEMBER 10, 2017
LONDON, ENGLAND AT THE ALEXANDRA PALACE
REPORT BY DAVE GREEN (@dagreeno), PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
PROGRESS put on their biggest show of the year in front of a show out crowd of 2,000 with some huge moments, title changes, and a huge announcement for next year’s big show.
Preshow dark match: Chuck Mambo defeated Spike Trivet. A fine match to get the crowd warmed up, with the ever popular Mambo beating the despised Trivet with the Chuck You.
(1) CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos) defeated British Strong Style (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) [c] to win the PROGRESS Tag Team Titles in a ladder match. This was a great opener to the main card. There was some worry for Lykos since he has been suffering from a shoulder injury which has been getting re-aggravated over the last few weeks, but he seemed to get through this match unscathed. The match flowed really nicely, without looking like a complete stunt show. There were very few silly high risk spots, with all four men performing spots that weren’t outside their control. After Tyler span CCK around with a giant swing/airplane spin combo, he took the ladder and performed a Terry Funk style crazy man spin, hitting Lykos and Brookes in the face. Unfortunately he managed to smack Trent with it as well. They saved the two biggest spots for towards the end. Lykos stood on a ladder that was held by Trent and Tyler and was thrown to the floor into the waiting arms of the assembled crew at ringside. After Trent was taken down, it was down to Tyler and Brookes. Tyler laid a ladder between the middle rope and a rung of another ladder. With both men on the top of the ladder, Bate attempted a Pedigree from the top, which was countered by Brookes into a backdrop onto the other ladder. Tyler bounced out of the ring, leaving Brookes to grab the belts to win the match for CCK to become two-time tag champs.
(2) Toni Storm [c] defeated Dahlia Black to retain the PROGRESS Women’s Title. This was a fine match, probably Dahlia’s best in-ring performance that I’ve seen, and the crowd were divided in their support. Black surprised everyone by kicking out of Storm’s Strong Zero piledriver, but couldn’t survive two more that were delivered for the final pinfall.
Post match, Jinny darted to the ring to attack Dahlia, focusing on her previously injured leg with a steel chair.
(3) Zack Sabre Jr defeated Marty Scurll. This was billed as an open challenge, with Scurll being a mystery opponent. When the reveal was made via a mysterious video package, the crowd popped huge. Scurll started by hitting Zack with his umbrella and what followed was the usual Zack v Marty goodness, with Scurll being more aggressive against Zack than had been previously in PROGRESS. Some wonderful moves and counters in this one, including Scurll moonsaulting straight into a triangle choke. It was a counter of a chicken wing into a European Clutch that got Zack the win. Scurll got on the mic and announced that he wouldn’t around PROGRESS for a long time, but that it was important for him to be back for their biggest show of the year due to how much the company meant to him. A “thank you Marty” chant rang out as he made his exit.
(4) Jimmy Havoc defeated Mark Haskins in a Death Match. The culmination of months of tension saw his match made during a backstage altercation at the end of the last chapter. No ring introductions were made as both men fought to the floor immediately. I won’t go into too much detail here, but suffice to say this fight was the polar opposite of the match that preceded it. Of the many weapons used, included were chairs, tables, tacks, staples, cinder blocks, an 8×10, salt and Havoc’s personal favourite, an axe (which wasn’t fully used, you’ll be pleased to hear). Haskins’ wife Vicky appeared at ringside. At previous shows, she’d been there to break up the fights, but this time she channeled a hitherto unseen evil side as she stopped Mark using a chair only to provide him with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. Then a board of barb wire was brought out. After numerous slams onto tacks and through the board, Havoc finally used the bat with his rainmaker finish to hit Haskins down for three. Utter carnage with coming out on top and surely in line for another title shot soon. Haskins was stoic on his way to the back to respectful applause from the crowd, as his future in PROGRESS is seemingly unclear after this loss.
After the interval, Jim Smallman made the huge announcement that on September 30th, PROGRESS would be hosting their biggest show ever, at the 10,000 seat Wembley Arena.
(5) WALTER defeated Timothy Thatcher and Matt Riddle [c] to win the PROGRESS Atlas Championship. WALTER defeated Riddle at Chapter 51 to win the Atlas title. Immediately afterward, WALTER offered Riddle a rematch. Riddle won the rematch at PROGRESS: NYC. At the same show, Thatcher defeated Donovan Dijak to become No1 contender. Riddle offered WALTER a rematch, so this match was made as a result. Having never seen Thatcher in an multi man match, I was interested to see how his style would work here. Suffice it to say that nothing disappointed in this match. Hard hitting chop battles were the trend here, to the point where everyone in the crowd were getting sympathy pains in their chests. Each man showed off their range of suplexes, while WALTER showed his power by German Suplexing both men at once. Riddle no sold a WALTER powerbomb only to be lariated back down again. Riddle crunched Thatcher with his jumping Tombstone (which actually did look like a Tombstone rather than a front slam for once). Thatcher got his foot caught in the ropes and Riddle tried to take advantage by hoisting WALTER into the Tombstone position. However WALTER was too heavy and shifted himself over to deliver a sit-out Tombstone to pin Riddle and regain the Atlas title.
After the match, music hit and Wolfgang made his first ever appearance at PROGRESS. He slowly walked to the ring and had a staredown with WALTER, indicating that he was coming for the Atlas title.
(6) Mark Andrews won a Scramble match over Flash Morgan Webster, Eddie Dennis, Jack Sexsmith, Chief Deputy Dunne, Strangler Davis, James Drake, and Zack Gibson to become No. 1 contender to the PROGRESS Title. While introductions were made for the match, Drake took the mic to cut Gibson’s promo for him to the usual heckling from the audience. Gibson then grabbed the mic and started speaking himself, and the crowd booed even louder. They walked around the entire arena to elicit an even bigger reaction.
The match itself was as you’d expect from a match involving this many men, a huge collection of high spots and non stop action. Andrews and Dennis almost came to blows, but the FSU team mates decided on a tandem dive instead. Dennis held Dunne up in a delayed superplex while the other pairings in the other corners all hit superplexes, with Dennis completing his after they had finished in an impressive power display. Gibson and Drake impressed with their tandem moves at different points, staying on the same page at all times. After Webster wiped the pack out with a ringpost dive, FSU looked to combine for a buckle bomb/enzeguri combo on Dunne, but Dennis instead threw the head of the Anti-Fun Police clear over the turnbuckles onto the other six men on the floor in a shocking spot. FSU hit their double team finish on Dunne, with Andrews telling Dennis to go for the cover while he got rid of Sexsmith at ringside. Dennis hesitated at this, which cost him the winning fall. Webster came in with the Strangler on Dennis (which is the name of his finishing submission, not to be confused with Davis!). Unable to get the tap out, he transitioned into the Eton Rifle, which left Webster prone for an Andrews Shooting Star Press which gained Andrews the win.
Here’s where things got very interesting. All this week, PROGRESS have been running promos about Webster where he calls himself out for being the nearly man, not being getting to where he wants to be. Andrews offered a handshake to Flash, who slapped his hand away and walked away. With Andrews’ back turned, Flash got back in the ring, spun Mark around…and hugged him.
With a sense of relief in the air at the tease of a turn that didn’t happen, suddenly Eddie Dennis slammed Mark Andrews down with the Next Stop Driver! The crowd elicited the biggest reaction of the show so far at the shock of FSU breaking up, with Dennis looking almost eerily calm at the actions committed against his best friend. If you know your PROGRESS history, the seeds for this moment could have been planted as far back as Chapter 10, but I’m sure all will be revealed soon enough. I just know I can’t wait for Eddie’s explanation.
(7) Travis Banks defeated Pete Dunne [c] to win the PROGRESS World Title. After months of build, the title match finally took place, with Dunne being accompanied by Trent Seven and Tyler Bate to ringside. Banks outwrestled Dunne in the early portion of the match, with Bate and Seven pulling Dunne out to safety after Banks attempted the Lion’s Clutch submission. After Banks dived onto each member of British Strong Style, the trio retreated to the backstage area, only to reemerge with sledgehammers. After they got in the ring, referee Chris Roberts commandeered one of the hammers and sent Bate and Seven back to the dressing room.
The match continued with plenty of near falls and a close count out spot. Roberts was knocked down by Dunne, a situation of which was taken advantage as Dunne scored with an illegal move, only for referee Joel Allen to then deliver a close two count. After Banks nearly scored the win, Bate & Seven returned to take Allen out of action. The trio combined for a piledriver, Tyler Driver and a Pedigree. Roberts recovered for the count, but it was a two yet again. Dunne hit Roberts with a Pedigree. CCK finally came out to even the odds and send Bate & Seven packing. Dunne then scored with a sledgehammer shot, with replacement referee Marc Parry in to make the count. Only a two again! “You can’t beat him” rang out from the crowd. Behind Parry’s back, Banks got the sledgehammer, shrugged his shoulders and nailed Dunne with it, before hitting the Kiwi-Krusher for two and then transitioning into the Lion’s Clutch to get the tap out and win the PROGRESS World Championship!
Dunne grabbed the title belt and begrudgingly threw it to Banks, almost congratulating him in his own way, before exiting and waving to the crowd as he went through the curtain. CCK returned to ringside to celebrate with Banks, who also had a curtain call with his parents who had flown in for the show. A lovely moment to start a new title reign. The match had a lot of story to it and many run ins and ref bumps, which might grate on those that don’t like that sort of thing, but it was still a great come from behind story seeing British Strong Style finally get their comeuppance and lose their stranglehold on the top of the card.
So ends the 55th chapter, and dare I say, the latest volume in the story of PROGRESS Wrestling. It was a fun show, with Alexandra Palace proving to be a great venue. With more people there, sometimes chants were lost that wouldn’t have been in the usual smaller venue that PROGRESS run, but it certainly had a good atmosphere. The wrestling was practically flawless, with everyone delivering. The variety of matches on show was incredible, as was the production itself. It’s certainly a show worth checking out.
PROGRESS’s next chapter takes places on Oct. 29, quite a long time in the PROGRESS world but they deserve the time off what with the schedule they have had for the last few months. That show is already sold out, but you may have luck by using he Twickets site for returns. This show will be on Demand-Progress by next weekend, while tickets for “Hello Wembley” go on sale on September 18th for mailing list subscribers.
Thanks for reading!
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS REPORT: 8/27 PROGRESS WRESTLING – CHAPTER 54 in Camden, London: Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, Timothy Thatcher, Pete Dunne, Doug Williams